We are only a handful of months away from the first FIFA World Cup to be staged in the Middle East. Qatar’s 2022 World Cup tournament is also the first to be hosted during the winter months, avoiding the glare of Qatar’s sweltering summer temperatures. Already, pundits and fans alike are debating which nations are well placed for a tilt at the Jules Rimet trophy this year. It’s been two decades since Brazil won their last of five World Cups and the bookmakers seem to favour their chances this year. They are currently 5/1 favourites in the World Cup outright winner market with 888sport, due largely to their favourable Group G draw alongside Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon. 888sport has a welcome bonus spanning both of its online sportsbook and casino platforms. Nevertheless, there are various other nations that believe the time is right for their names to be on the trophy come 18th December 2022.
Below, we explore the chances of the four most fancied countries to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Qatar National Day, just seven days before the festive season.
Brazil are the most successful nation in the history of the FIFA World Cup, with no-one equalling their record of five tournament wins to date. After a staggering 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup and a quarter-final loss in 2018, Brazil are readying a bold bid again in 2022. They scored 40 goals and conceded just five en route to qualification and a forward line of Neymar, Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus and Vinicius Junior has the potential to be truly explosive.
France are justifiably second favourites for the tournament with the reigning world champions bidding to become only the third nation to retain the Jules Rimet trophy in history. A supercomputer recently predicted France would win the tournament and an AI-based model from Stats Perform also says France have a 17.93% chance of winning – higher than Brazil’s 15.73% percentage prospects. Like Brazil, France also have a relatively safe Group D draw, with Denmark, Tunisia and Australia to negotiate into the knockout stages. They also have Karim Benzema back in the fold, with the veteran in red-hot form last season for Real Madrid.
It’s been a painful 56 years since England’s sole World Cup success on home soil against West Germany. England came within a whisker of winning EURO 2020, losing on penalties to Italy at Wembley Stadium. Gareth Southgate’s men are fancied to mount a credible challenge at the World Cup this year, too. 12 months ago, England were in fact the bookies’ favourites, but a glaring drop-off in form over the last six months has seen them fall below Brazil and France in the pecking order. There is plenty of talent from back to front in the England squad, but much will rely on the form and fitness of skipper and talisman Harry Kane.
Any nation with Lionel Messi in their ranks should still pose a serious World Cup threat. Messi, now aged 34, could be entering his final World Cup competition. The PSG star has been something of a damp squib so far in the French capital, but he will be keen to hit form going into this winter. Argentina are always one of the most streetwise teams in international football. They will relish the prospect of heading to the Middle East as underdogs, evading the glare of pundits and analysts.
Honourable mentions should also go to Spain and Germany, who both know what it takes to win major tournaments. At 250/1, the host nation Qatar are not expected to even qualify out of Group A.